2020 Toyota Corolla vs. 2019 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Corolla has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Corolla’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Corolla has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Corolla and the Sentra SR Turbo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sentra SR Turbo.

There are over 13 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Corolla’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Sentra SR Turbo isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla gets better fuel mileage than the Sentra SR Turbo:

 

 

 

MPG

Corolla

 

Manual

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/36 hwy

 

Auto

1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

 

 

XLE 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

 

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/40 hwy

 

 

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/38 hwy

Sentra SR Turbo

 

Manual

NISMO 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

Auto

1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

 

 

NISMO 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Sentra SR Turbo requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Toyota Corolla comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Sentra SR Turbo.

A standard “hill holder” feature keeps the Toyota Corolla from rolling backwards on a steep slope. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a hill holder feature.

The Toyota Corolla has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corolla SE/XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sentra SR Turbo (225/40R18 vs. 215/45R18).

The Corolla SE/XSE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sentra NISMO’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Sentra SR Turbo has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Sentra SR Turbo’s (34.1 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The Corolla has 2.1 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sentra SR Turbo.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla easier. The Corolla’s trunk lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the Sentra SR Turbo’s liftover is 27.1 inches.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Corolla to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Nissan doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Sentra SR Turbo.

Ergonomics

The Corolla (except L/LE/Manual) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Corolla and the Sentra SR Turbo have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sentra SR Turbo prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Corolla’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sentra SR Turbo’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Sentra SR Turbo can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla XLE/XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Corolla’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sentra SR Turbo’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Corolla has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo isn’t available as a four-door hatchback or station wagon.

Recommendations

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Nissan Sentra by 43% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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